Sri Lanka panel finds Channel 4 film ‘strong evidence of war crimes’

An investigation panel appointed by the president of Sri Lanka has concluded that the video footage broadcast by Britain’s Channel 4 showing alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka’s bloody war presents genuine and strong 'circumstantial evidence of war crimes.'

Presidential commission led by Ex Judge Maxwell Paranagama says in its final report, ‘taking the Channel 4 allegations at their highest, the Commission proceeds on the basis that the material is, or may be genuine and, therefore, presents strong circumstantial evidence of war crimes.’

Channe 4

On August 25, 2009  Channel 4 first aired a video footage apparently showing government troops executing blindfolded Tamil prisoners. The footage filmed by Sri Lankan troops were handed over to Channel 4 by JDS.

Channel 4 followed by airing a series of documentaries directed by Callum Macrae on atrocities committed during the final stage of Sri Lanka's civil war.

The Maxwell Paranagama commission report suggests that evidence of crimes similar to shown in the Channel 4 footage has been prosecuted at an international court.

Similar evidence

“The authenticity of the video footage is not an issue that this Commission can resolve, other than to comment that many of the members of its Advisory Council have prosecuted cases at the highest level before international tribunals and are familiar with footage of the kind used by Channel 4,” it adds.

In addition to the Maxwell Paranagama report and the report compiled by the commission led by former judge Nissanka Udalagama investigating serious human rights allegations, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe on 20 Tuesday tabled in parliament the UN findings on war crimes and crimes against humanity during the war in Sri Lanka.



Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka

  • JDS is the Sri Lankan partner organization of international media rights group, Reporters Without Borders (RSF). The launching of this website was made possible by the EU’s European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), of which Reporters Without Borders is a beneficiary.